A Subway franchisee is in hot water for allegedly underpaying 11 staff by more than $50,000, with an industry expert warning that franchisors should ensure their franchisees receive proper legal information.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has launched a prosecution against the operator of four Subway outlets in Newcastle in northern NSW.

According to Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson, the decision to prosecute was made because of the significant amount involved for vulnerable, young workers, and the employer’s failure to rectify the matter.

It is alleged Nicole Patrice Dawe, who part owns and operates the four outlets, was centrally involved in underpaying 11 employees a total of $56,585 between 2006 and 2011.